Why did Hindu Gods lose their Heads? (Post No.4420)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 21 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 21–04

 

 

Post No. 4420

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

Why did Lord Ganesh lose his head?

 Why did Lord Vishnu lose his head?

Why did Lord Brahma lose his head?

Why did Daksha lose his head?

Why did Bhrigu lose his head?

Daksha got goat’s head!

We have various versions of Daksha’s fire sacrifice in the Puranas and epics. In one of the versions Bhrigu loses his head. In another version Daksha himself lost his head. All this happened when he refused to invite Lord Siva for the sacrifice. Siva married Daksha’s daughter Sati.  Siva became angry and destroyed the Yaga. He decapitated Daksha and threw his head into fire. Later Siva was propitiated and he couldn’t find Daksha’s head. So he replaced it with that of a goat.

(We have goat headed figures in Indus valley civilisation)

 

Ganesh got Elephant’s Head

Ganesa is the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles. There is a variety of legends accounting for his elephant’s head. When his mother Parvati proudly asked Saturn to look at him he looked at him. Immediately Ganesa’s head was burnt to ashes. Brahma told Parvati in her distress to replace the head with  whatever she finds in the first place. Since she found only an elephant’s head , it was fixed on Ganesa’s head.

Another story is that Ganesh was guarding the bath room door of Parvati. Siva was refused permission. In his rage he cut off the head . When Parvati felt sad, Siva replaced it with an elephant’s head just to pacify her.

 

Brahma lost his head for lying

Again there are different versions about Brahma losing his head. One point is common in all these stories. Brahma had five heads and Siva also had five heads. And Brahma lost one. When Parvati got confused and went near Brahma thinking it was Siva, Lord Siva became angry and cut off one of the five heads to avoid future confusion.

 

Another version is Siva decapitated one of the 5 heads of Brahma, because he spoke disrespect fully. Now Brahma has only four heads.

 

Another version is that he was looking at his daughter Satarupa with bad intention and his head was cut off as a punishment.

 

All these Head losing stories are symbolic. They were told to illustrate certain points.

Why did Vishnu lose his Head?

There is a strange story of Vishnu losing head in Satapata Brahmana:

Satapata Brahmana (SB) belongs to the White (Sukla) Yajur Veda (Vajasaneyi Samhita). It consists of 100 sections (sata+path) and so it is known as the Satapata Brahmana. This is the most important Brahmana (SB) because it deals with various fire sacrifices, both minor and major. Most of the stories told in the Brahmana re symbolic. One of the stories is about Vishnu and ants.

The 14th book contains a legend concerning a contention among the gods in which Vishnu came off victorious. So it is customary to say ‘Vishnu is the luckiest (Sreshta) of the gods’ or ‘Vishnu is the most excellent of the gods’. Vishnu has brought into prominence for the first time. Earlier the legend of his three strides was known. The three stride episode is mentioned in the Satapata Brahmana also. Later the Puranas shifted this to the Vamana (Trivikrama) Avatar.

 

When Indra came to know that Vishnu won, he struck off his (Vishnu’s)  head in jealousy, says the SB. There is another version :-

 

The gods sent forth ants to gnaw the bow string of Vishnu. They did it out of jealousy. When Vishnu was standing leaning on the bended bow they sent the ants. They thought once the ants cut off the string, the bow will strike on Vishnu and knock him down. The string snapped as expected and sprang upwards, severed his (Vishnu’s) head from the body. The same legend appears in Taittiriya Aranyaka as well.

 

–Subham–

 

 

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: